每日诗歌: 若這不是愛 (http://www.mbcsfv.org/chinese/library/hymncampanions/076.html)
Numbers 34 [Read]
Numbers 35 [Read]
Numbers 36 [Read]
Mark 10:32-52 [Read]
“Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you” (Ps. 89:14). God’s righteousness is unquestionable, for it is the foundation of his throne. Without it the Kingdom of God shall collapse. On the other hand, absolute righteousness tends to be cold-hearted. Therefore, God shows his righteousness with love and faithfulness. Such principle is subtly shown in today’s passage.
The establishment of cities of refuge was an intriguing thing in the Mosaic Law. They were set up for those who killed someone by accident, and those people could stay there until being tried before the people (35:12). All six cities of refuge were cities assigned to Levi, and they belonged to the priests and those who served the Lord. People from other tribes were not allowed to enter at will. Within the walls of these cities, the killers were protected. If they went out of the cities and met those who were seeking revenge, they could be killed (35:27). Murderers must be put to death (35:31), and that was righteous and just. Those who killed by accident shall be protected by grace, though they must still pay for their action by confining themselves in those cities of refuge. They must stay within the grace of God.
The interesting thing is that those who killed by accident would gain their freedom after the death of the high priest (35:28), and they could go back to their homeland. Those who sought revenge must not harm him anymore. God did not explain the reason behind such law, but Carson thought it showed the atoning effect of the death of the high priest. His death seemed to provide substitution for the sin of killing by accident, and those people could now go back to live a new life. Such view obviously implies salvation, and the death of the high priest of the New Testament (Heb 8) is more than sufficient to atone for many.
Whether we agree with such view or not, we cannot deny the clear connection between the cities of refuge and the grace of salvation. Before the God of perfect just and holiness, we can only hide under the grace and love of the cross to avoid the final judgment. Just as what is said in today’s hymn: “if this is not love, then where can we find love?”
Keep on reading